There’s video going viral of a man having a meltdown at the airport yesterday while trying to depart DC, when he finds out he’s not allowed to fly. However, there are conflicting theories on what happened — is the guy actually on some no-fly list, is this over a mask related incident, or is it something else altogether?
Man leaving DC finds out he’s not allowed to fly
A video is going viral of a man who is in tears at the airport after finding out he’s not allowed to fly. In the video you can hear the man crying and screaming in the terminal:
“This is what they do to us. They kicked me off the plane. They called me a f*cking terrorist, and they f*ckin’ want to ruin my life!”
At that point a woman comes up to him and says:
“Sir, please calm down. I was kicked off of Delta earlier.”
If you want to see the video, you can do so here (note that there’s some bad language, as you can see above, and it’s not censored below, and also that despite the Tweet caption, there is currently zero evidence to suggest the Jan 6th seditionists have been added en masse to Federal No-Fly lists):
There are a lot of unanswered questions here. This video was filmed yesterday when a guy was trying to fly home on Delta, and he only found out he wasn’t allowed to fly while at the gate. What we don’t know is:
- If he was on some sort of a no-fly list, was he banned by a specific airline, or was he on a federal list, maintained by the FBI as part of its terrorist watchlist? (there is no evidence to suggest there has been a rash of additions this week, so this seems unlikely)
- Was he not allowed to fly because of his participation in the riots, or was this related to another incident? Did he actually storm the Capitol, was he misbehaving on his flight to DC and banned by an airline, or was he refusing to wear his mask?
- This takes place in the terminal after security, so how was he able to check in? Did he maybe check in 24 hours before departure and already had his boarding pass, and was added to a no-fly list afterwards, or is something else altogether going on here?
Is there a federal no-fly list for the mob?
Most of the people involved in Wednesday’s mob managed to fly home without issue. That’s because most of the people who stormed the Capitol weren’t immediately arrested, given how unprepared authorities were for what unfolded.
Most arrests are happening after the fact, with authorities going through tapes and asking the public for help in identifying the people who were involved. It would be logical for authorities to try to keep people involved in the DC area, so that it’s easier to arrest them. Is that what’s going on here, though?
On Thursday we saw the Committee on Homeland Security urge the TSA and FBI to add violent perpetrators involved in the attack on the Capitol to the no-fly list. We also saw the FAA state that it would do what it could to support airlines in keeping the skies safe following what happened.
But I haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere that people who were involved in the riots are actually being put on the federal no-fly list. Now, it’s entirely possible that this happens in the background and it’s not made public. But there’s something strange about the fact that the guy got all the way to the gate, and then had this meltdown.
Was this meltdown all over wearing a mask?
It was pointed out that the person that initially posted the video claimed that this tantrum was all about wearing a mask. However, that doesn’t really make much sense either:
- Would that make him claim that he’s being treated like a terrorist, that his life is being ruined, and that “this is what they do to us?”
- He does have a mask strapped around his chin in the video, so it’s not that he was completely refusing to wear it
- Presumably he flew to DC and knew the rules based on the flight there
I would imagine something may have happened at the gate to cause this, based on the fact that he was able to check in, but wasn’t able to fly. But at the same time, the guy’s response seems even more out of line if this comes down to him refusing to wear a mask while boarding his flight out of DC.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we’ve seen hundreds of people added to individual airline no-fly lists over mask compliance. It was initially suggested that the above video showed someone angry over being on a federal no-fly list for insurrection. That didn’t seem likely all along, given that we haven’t heard any more reports of that, despite this being urged by politicians.
If this was in fact over mask compliance, the man’s response is even more bizarre — sobbing, claiming he’s being treated like a terrorist and that his life is being ruined, etc. I think the truth may be somewhere in the middle — maybe this was in fact related to his behavior on the outbound flight.
The most bizarre part of this entire thing is that that he’s being consoled by another person who had apparently been kicked off a flight earlier. What’s her story? At least he’s finding support at the airport, I suppose.
To the airline and airport employees working at DC area airports this week, thank you for what you do, I’m sorry, and hang in there.